What? You think Halloween is so October? You think it's too late to post a Halloween wrap-up? Well, I'm usually much more behind than this, so this post is early by my standards, and how can anyone be tired of Halloween; it's only Nov. 3.
Miss E, the panda, with two uncles.
I couldn't attend any of my usual Halloween parties since I'm not in Madison anymore, and we didn't have any to go to here, so we had a family Halloween dinner. I didn't even dress up — all my wigs and costume-y things are packed in boxes back in Wisconsin; no yellow dotted-Swiss debutante dress, no poodle skirt, no marathon runner outfit (most comfortable costume ever — I know some of you are real marathon runners and are probably raising your eyebrows, but for me it's just a costume), no outfit that caused my son to say I looked like the old ladies down in Florida where my parents lived (my hair was teased and sprayed into bigness instead of its usual limp state, for that costume, and one of the guys at the party quite seriously told me it looked really nice, and I should always wear it that way ... eeewww). Just a nice family dinner at home for us this year. But a FUN dinner, thanks to Jenny.
I copied Jenny's idea for a salad bar supper and accompanied it with a vegetable soup made from the leftovers of Saturday night's Portobello Feijoada. Above you can see some of a selection of salad bar ingredients which included carrots, golden beets, cucumbers, roasted peppers, scallions, kohlrabi, pickles, green and black olives, salad greens, garbanzo beans, black bean soup, baked potatoes as big as your head, and chips and salsa.
We simmered carrots and cauliflower in a little water, then added the portobello feijoada, leftover orange rice, leftover kale, additional spices and stock to create a wonderful soup to go with the salad. I also made baked potatoes. I'd found some organic monster potatoes at the store, and although they were bigger than I wanted, I bought them. I swear they weighed about one pound each. It's lucky our guests were late because those suckers baked for nearly two hours before they softened. After one hour was up with no discernible cooking progress, I put them on my hot baking stone and they finally got the message. They tasted great after they finally cooked. I wish I'd photographed the table and my plate but I was so busy I forgot.
Last night, the leftover potatoes made a great stir-fry side dish cooked with onions, garlic and lightly steamed broccoli, and seasoned with smoked paprika, coarse sea salt, cumin and fresh ground pepper.
VEGAN food at the mall? In the food court?
The other day, we were at the Verizon store, which is located outside Northgate mall, to get my husband's phone fixed, and because we had several more errands to run and I needed a pit stop, we went into the mall and through the food court to find the restrooms. When I came back into the court, ready to head to the next location, I found my husband all excited. "Look at this," he said. "There's a Greek restaurant in the food court that has a list of vegan sandwiches. Look, it even has the word "VEGAN." And so it did. Really big, too — a separate list just like the other categories.
"Well, they should be rewarded for this," I said. "I think we should buy one of those vegan sandwiches so they know they're appreciated." We got a falafel and vegetable (i.e. lettuce and tomato) sandwich to share, since it was lunchtime anyway, and the sandwich, in a large, chewy pita, wasn't bad. Not as great as Maoz ... but not bad. I really should carry my camera at all times, darn it.